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Ilhan Omar daughter 'suspended from university' over Gaza

Ilhan Omar’s daughter 'suspended from university' over Gaza protest
2 min read
19 April, 2024
Isra Hirsi said on X she has been suspended from Barnard College for 'standing in solidarity with Palestinians facing a genocide'.
Ilhan Omar's daughter, Isra Hisri, announced on X that she is one of three students suspended for "standing in solidarity with Palestinians" [GETTY]

Isra Hirsi, the daughter of American Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, said she has been suspended from New York's Columbia University and its associate institution, Barnard College, after participating in a pro-Palestine protest on Thursday.

Writing on X, Hirsi said she is "one of three students suspended for standing in solidarity with Palestinians facing a genocide".

Hirsi said that despite being an organiser with Columbia University Apartheid Divest, she had never been reprimanded or received any disciplinary warnings in her three years at the college. The organisation advocates for the university to divest from "companies complicit in genocide".

"Those of us in Gaza Solidarity Encampment will not be intimidated. We will stand resolute until our demands are met," Hirsi added.

"Our demands include divestment from companies complicit in genocide, transparency of @Columbia's investments and FULL amnesty for all students facing repression."

Hirsi, who is also an environmental activist, was among the 180 pro-Palestinian students who formed an encampment at Columbia University on Wednesday morning, ahead of University President Nemat Minouche Shafik's testimony on Capitol Hill regarding allegations of antisemitism at the institution.

Over 100 protesters were arrested on grounds of trespassing.

The activist has since received a barrage of hate comments online, as he mother has in the past.

Omar has been vocal about the United States' policy toward Israel since it began its war on Gaza. The politician has noted fears for her family after receiving threats for critiquing Israel's occupation of Palestine.

In a community update, Barnard College responded to the "unauthorised encampment", stating that the university had made "multiple requests" for participating students to leave the lawn and advised them that they would face sanctions if they did not comply.

"We started to place identified Barnard students remaining in the encampment on interim suspension, and we will continue to do so."

The college's Student Government Association condemned the suspensions as "illegitimate" and a violation of "the sanctity of the academic institution and its purpose to facilitate open dialogue".

Since 7 October, Colombia University has been a centre for protests for and against Israel's war on Gaza. But the institution has been scrutinised for its attempts to crack down on these demonstrations.